With the end of the German football season done, Bayern once again dominated German football taking both the Bundesliga and the DFB Pokal trophies home this season, but how many of their players feature in my Bundesliga team of the season?
Marc-Andre Ter Stegen (Borussia Monchengladbach) : Having played every minute of Gladbach’s league games this season, Ter Stegen has been extremely influential in securing a Europa League spot for his side, and on a personal note, securing a summer move to European giants Barcelona. Still only 22 years old, and 6”3 in stature, Ter Stegen has proved himself this season to be one of the best Bundesliga keepers. With 4 German caps to his name, despite his performances, Low baffled a lot of German football fans in not selecting either Ter Stegen or Bernt Leno, the Bayer Leverkusen number one. Manuel Neuer and Leno are both unlucky to miss out, but having made the most saves out of the three, and still keeping 9 clean sheets, Ter Stegen has been a rock in the goal.
Dante (Bayern Munich) : Had to have at least one of the Bayern centre-halfs after conceding just 23 goals all season in their first year under Guardiola. I went with Dante over Boateng purely because of the power and presence Dante puts out there. Not a regular in the Brazil squad, but with more tackles, blocks and aerial duels completion over his Bayern counterpart, it had to be Dante. Now 30, Dante has kicked on from his first season for the Bavarian side and is now a rock at the heart of the defence. The only thing that might worry Dante is the man who overtook him in the Brazil side, David Luiz, is heavily linked with a move to the Bundesliga champions, and where does that leave the veteran centre half?
Sokratis Papastathopoulos (Borussia Dortmund) : Now 25 years old, the Greek centre back has never really got to a club and settled down so far in his career. No more than two years at any club, but this season he has shown all the quality to become a Dortmund regular for years to come. To break into the Hummels-Subotic partnership which has seen Dortmund challenge for years is a success in its own right, but to get in there and stand out as arguably the best centre back in the league this season is a credit to himself. Off to the World Cup with Greece, Sokratis will be hoping to show the rest of the world his talents.
David Alaba (Bayern Munich) : The second Bayern Munich player in the team so far, Alaba has had yet another superb season on the left hand side of Bayern’s back four. An exceptional defender to add to his main attacking ability, the Austrian epitomises the modern day full-back. Along with Franck Ribery, Bayern have made that left hand side the focal point of Bayern’s expansive football. To have the outlet of one of the best full-backs in world football makes Bayern so exciting to watch.
Arjen Robben (Bayern Munich) : Now into his thirties, Robben seems to be growing in his latter years. One of the most deadly left foots in world football, it’s always been a shame that Robben is so poor on his right, but it’s never seemed to have affected the flying Dutchman. This season saw him play his most league games for Bayern in one season, after a few injury affected seasons, but under new management and so many quality attacking players, it just shows Robben’s class that he’s kept his place in the side.
Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich) : Converted into a midfielder under new manager Pep Guardiola, and this has proved a success. Very confident on the ball, strong and with a quick turn of pace, Lahm possesses all the abilities to play in the midfield, but the pressure upon him was immense. Club captain and moved into midfield in a side who controls the game through their midfield, Lahm had an extremely important role within the squad, and to fire Bayern to a league and cup double, yet again.
Toni Kroos (Bayern Munich) : Yet another Bayern Munich player in this team of the season, and after their magnificent domestic season it’s no surprise. Kroos has really come into his own this season, picking up more of a starting role than in recent seasons, and he’s really paid his manager back. Rumours of Kroos leaving the Allianz have grown since the season ended but I don’t understand why he’d contemplate leaving a side where he’s almost guaranteed a league title.
Marco Reus (Borussia Dortmund) : 16 goals and 13 assists in 30 Bundesliga games speaks for itself. Another top season at his boyhood club, Reus is growing year-on-year. Next season will be massive for Reus on a personal note with Gotze leaving last summer and Lewandowski departing this summer to Bayern, Reus will be the player Borussia Dortmund look to every time they need a goal. Everyone knows Reus’ strengths, but from what I saw off him last season, it was improvement in everything else in his game that made him stand out for more. Now more of an all-round winger, with the ability to play in behind the striker has added a new goal scoring front to his game.
Kevin Volland ( Hoffenheim) : 21 years old now and the young German has really burst onto the scene this season. Playing predominantly right wing for a mid-table Hoffenheim, Volland was a star in their side. This summer could see a big move for the youngster with loads of top European teams chasing him. A confident finisher when placed leading the line with 11 goals and 4 assists throughout this campaign.
Robert Lewandowski (Borussia Dortmund) : What kind of Bundesliga Team of the Season would it be without Lewandowski? Top goalscorer in the league this season has earned himself a summer signing to Germany’s other big side, Bayern Munich. 20 goals in 33 matches this season, Lewandowski tops off what has been a fantastic four seasons in Dortmund yellow. After moving in January, he did well to keep performing on the pitch and not yet the distraction of a move to the Bavarian capital get to his head.
Mario Mandzukic (Bayern Munich) : The sixth Bayern Munich player in the side shows how successful they were domestically this campaign. The big Croat, like Lewandowski, did well to keep himself motivated after the Lewandowski move that surely meant an end to his chances of starting week in, week out for Bayern. 18 in 30 for Bayern powered them to their success , and has left a large number of clubs licking their lips at the prospect of picking Mandzukic up for a fairly cheap fee.